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Potential heirs continue to battle over James Brown's estate

Most estate planning experts in Saint Charles would likely agree that one should start their estate planning early on in their adult life. Yet estate planning such not be viewed as a singular event, but rather a process that plays out over several years. One is certain to experience several life changes that would necessitate them amending their will in order to accommodate their most current situation. A failure to do so may almost certainly guarantee there to be discord amongst one's heirs when they are gone. 

How can you revoke a will?

If you have taken the advice of estate planning experts in Saint Charles and already drafted a will and other documents related to the dispersal of your assets, you might feel as though your work in this regard is over. Yet the hope is that you still live for many more years, during which time your circumstances can change. Such changes may prompt you to decide to modify the management (and eventual administration) of your estate. Changes such as these, however, can often prompt discord, with one or more of your beneficiaries contesting their validity (an easy challenge to make if you are not around to refute it). 

What are the basics of estate planning?

Missouri residents who are left handling matters of the estate may find themselves with a lot of questions. This is especially true if you have never had to deal with estate management or planning before. If that's the case for you, take a look here for some basic information about estate planning that you should know.

Probating small estates in Missouri

Estate planning in Saint Charles encompasses not only the actions required to manage your own affairs, but also those related to any estate you may be party to. If, for example, a loved one approaches you asking to be his or her personal representative, it behooves you to know all that you can about the role prior to having to assume it. Our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law encourages those who come to us asking for guidance of fulfilling their duties as personal representatives to thoroughly understand the probate process, with the first item being whether or not the estate you are administering will even need it. 

Granting power of attorney

A common misconception that many in Saint Charles have about estate planning is that it only involves preparing for how one's assets will be distributed after he or she is gone. It is important to remember that estate plans should also consider what to do in the event a person's ability to make decisions for him or herself is hindered. This is where the idea of power of attorney comes into play. While handing over decision-making responsibilities to another might seem disabling, one should know that Missouri law does not leave him or her at the mercy of an attorney in fact once such authority has been granted. 

Beginning the probate process

Your reluctance to dive into your estate planning is understandable given that few people in Saint Charles like to face the prospect of their own deaths. Doing so, however, is important if you hope to avoid issues with the distribution of your estate. Yet almost as important as preparing an estate is also preparing those who have been chosen to administer it. Many clients have come to us here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law after having been asked to serve as the personal representative of an estate, yet not knowing what to do when their loved one dies. 

What are the primary advantages of trusts?

If you currently reside in Missouri and are trying to figure out the best way to preserve your legacy for those you love most, you may be giving some thought to potentially establishing a trust. While many people do not fully understand trusts or exactly what they entail, they can prove to be an extremely worthwhile estate planning strategy that can help you hold on to more of your wealth for future generations.

Estate planning after your divorce

Marriage and estate planning go hand-in-hand, as such an event is certainly something that will affect who you would want inheriting your assets in the event of your death. The same is true with divorce. Upon the dissolution of your marriage in Saint Charles, you might also decide that you do not want your former spouse benefitting from your estate. However, our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law has met with countless clients whose family members or friends passed away without ever updating their wills following their divorces. Their questions are almost always the same: will the decedent's ex-spouse get everything? 

The three P's of guardianship

One element of estate planning that is often overlooked is selecting a guardian for your minor children. Ensuring that your children are raised by someone of your choosing should be one of the primary motivators for you to begin this process early in your adult life. Several people have come to our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law asking for guidance when making this decision. However, exact advice on this topic may be difficult to provide. 

Man's widow and daughters battle over $60 million estate

Far too few of those in Saint Charles who should be seeing to their estate planning may actually be doing it. One might understand the hesitancy another might have to seriously consider end-of-life issues while he or she is still of sound mind and body. Yet the purpose of estate planning should be viewed as preparing for death; rather, it should be considered a method through which people can pre-emptively avoid having inheritance issues fracture families. 

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